So funny story about this recipe. It’s actually in our second cookbook, the one we published 3 years ago (I actually can’t even go there, because when that book was published, my toddler was a brand-new baby and I refuse to accept that he’s not that tiny little burrito snoozing away in his swing, so we’re going to say that all of this actually JUST happened, okay?) This is one I’ve been making very regularly for a longlonglong time now (like since my oldest was in high chair eating solid food for the first time, but I’m also in denial about the fact that he’s 10 1/2, sooo…). I frequently Instagram it, make it for other people, cook it with other people in the house, and everyone always asks for the recipe and I go to direct them to the blog and realize that it’s not here.
While we really try to keep cookbook-exclusive recipes exclusive to cookbooks, I feel like this easy weeknight chili recipe needs a permanent spot here on the blog. It’s packed with protein, low in calories, and literally loved by everyone I know who has made it, plus it’s quick and easy enough to make any day of the week (plus double it for leftovers the next day that will be even MORE delicious!)
From the produce section, you’ll need an onion, a bell pepper (any color works! If you bought one of those tri-color packages and are desperately looking for a way to use up that last pepper, this recipe is for you), and some garlic.
Give those a good chop and set aside.
Round up a pound of lean ground beef (I use 90% lean), a can of beans (I’m using kidney here and then decided I wanted black in there, too–this recipe is super-customizable depending on your mood! More about that later.), a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, and some beef broth. I was out of beef broth, but I used beef Better than Bouillon and 15 ounces of water, no big deal.
You’ll also need about a tablespoon of olive oil. I’m using our chili olive oil to add a little heat, but regular extra-virgin, basil, or garlic would also be delicious.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently. When the meat is cooked about halfway, add some chili powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper
and stir to coat the meat completely.
When the meat has cooked completely, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with desired toppings.
Now…like I said, this recipe is super customizable, depending on your mood, personal preferences, and what you have on hand. Here’s a list of ways I mix it up:
*For additional good carbs (like if you’re South Beaching and find yourself dragging or not having enough energy to work out), add another drained can of beans.
*For smokey heat, replace half of the chili powder with chipotle chili powder.
*For more straight-up heat, add cayenne pepper. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there.
*For more Tex-Mex flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander.
*If desired, you can replace the ground beef with lean ground turkey.
*Any color of bell peppers work–if you need to use up colored bell peppers, feel free!
*Mix up the shredded cheese–cheddar is great, but so is pepper jack.
*We top ours with saltines, Fritos, or Cheez-Its.
*We also top ours with chopped green onions or minced yellow, white, or red onions.
NUTRITION INFORMATION (for 6 servings, 10% lean ground beef, 1 can beans):
Fat: 10 g
Carbs: 15 g
Fiber: 5 g
Easy Weeknight Chili
Delicious chili your whole family will love but easy enough to make any night of the week!
- 1 pound lean ground beef (I use 10% lean)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 can light kidney, black, or pinto beans, drained
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15-ounce can beef broth or equivalent concentrated beef bouillon dissolved in 15 oz. water
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently. When the meat is cooked about halfway, add the seasonings and stir to coat the meat completely.
- When the meat has cooked completely, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with desired toppings.